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Growth forecast down

GROWTH forecasts for the Irish economy have been slashed by Government think-tank the ESRI.

The Economic and Social Research Institute has revised down its forecast for growth in gross domestic product (GDP) to 1.8pc -- a drop from 2pc in its last forecast.

And the institute has cut back its forecast for gross national product from 0.5pc to just 0.2pc.

However, the group believes that public debt will peak at a lower level than it did in its last report and is expected to reach 109pc of GDP, rather than the 116pc it anticipated three months ago.